The number of nurse practitioners currently licensed to practice in the U.S. has more than doubled since 2007, with urgent care continuing to be a source of growth. Of the 248,000 NPs now practicing around the country, 5.9% (14,632) are caring for patients in urgent care centers, according to just-released data from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. AANP President Joyce Knestrick, PhD, APRN, DFNP, FAANP points to the growing shortage of physicians as evidence that the contributions of NPs and physician assistants is likely to increase along with their numbers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the NP profession will grow by 36% by 2026—compared with growth of just 13% for physicians. NPs conducted an estimated 1.02 billion patient visits across all settings in 2017, according to AANP.
NP Ranks Continue to Swell in Urgent Care—and Beyond